Global mining conglomerate Rio Tinto has begun operations at its commercial-scale demonstration plant in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec to produce scandium oxide as well as aluminum-scandium alloys.
The government of Quebec has also contributed C$650,000 ($522,734) to the $6bn plant budget. The plant now employs six workers and will soon establish production ramps to produce 3mt of high-purity scandium oxide. Rio Tinto expects to capture 20pc of the global scandium market through this plant.
Apart from this, the miner is preparing to produce aluminum-scandium alloys at scale, with its first commercial order already locked in with Amaero. The production schedule for the alloys business is still to be disclosed.